Is e-filing a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are mostly on the exact same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is popular because it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
And in return, you could get any refund you are owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
However, what about security? And can digital filing really give you access to all the forms that you might need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing choice for your requirements.
If you are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your advantage when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from the checking or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic copy of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those advantages — and the process of doing this is easy.
You have four choices for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you may have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Types — If your income is more than $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your taxes without any assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide standard guidance. You can only do your federal return with these kinds.
- Use an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms. Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to steer you through the completion of your forms.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on earnings, and some services appeal to particular demographic groups. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected over four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about security — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this is not a problem which should deter you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data secure. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It is important to employ a trustworthy service that will help you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection that is not private.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options. Just make certain to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so that you can make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.